Quake gives Scout opportunity for service

On Jan. 17, the day of the Northridge earthquake, 15-year-old Trent Baldwin, a teacher in the Yerington Ward, Fallon Nevada Stake, saw an opportunity to provide service to others and complete the project for his Eagle Scout award at the same time.

While viewing the desperate plight of children on television, he called the Scout office and proposed an Eagle project to provide food, clothing and other needed items to the young quake victims. Sensing the need for quick action, the Scout office approved the project over the phone, a major exception to the long process of paper work and committee meetings that are normally required.By Wednesday, Jan. 19, Trent had 300 fliers distributed throughout the city; on Thursday, a notice requesting donations appeared in the local newspaper and on Friday he had collected a mountain of diapers, baby food, blankets, and clothing. Employing his organizational skills, he directed the efforts of six adults and 14 other Scouts to receive, sort, and box the materials.

Trent contacted Reed Gunnell, a counselor in the California Arcadia Mission, and made arrangements to distribute the materials in Southern California. Pres. Gunnell, who was coordinating the efforts of the full-time missionaries in helping victims, indicated that babies and children had the greatest needs, and suggested that Trent contact the Guadalupe Distribution Center in Canoga Park. Anastasia Rose, principal administrator of the center, agreed to receive the materials and distribute them to families whose homes and apartments had been condemned.

Trent faced one more major problem. He had no means to transport the materials. Don Frade, second counselor in the Yerington Ward bishopric, provided the answer. He arranged for a truck and trailer to make the trip. After a 10-hour drive from Yerington, Trent; his father, J. Bryan Baldwin; and Brother Frade arrived at the Gunnell residence late at night. The next day, they delivered the needed supplies to the Guadalupe Center.

Grateful for the help, the center's administrator asked a favor of Trent. The center had excess adult clothing that was needed by the local Salvation Army and she had no way to get it to them. She asked if Trent, his father and Brother Frade would transport the clothing. Trent agreed, and soon the truck and trailer, full of clothing, were on the road to the Salvation Army. That afternoon the delivery was completed and the three were headed back to Yerington, Nev. The trip would take another 10 hours, but they couldn't tarry - Scout Trent Baldwin had to be back the next day for early morning seminary and the start of a new school semester.

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